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Winter Habitat Associations for Spotted Skunks (Spilogale spp) in South-Central Wyoming
- Boulerice, Jesse T., Zinke, Brian M.
- The American midland naturalist 2017 v.178 no.1 pp. 17-28
- autumn, habitats, hills, models, skunks, winter, Wyoming
- Long-term trends suggest the eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius) experienced a significant decrease in populations throughout the distribution of the species, necessitating development of range-wide management and conservation strategies. However, information on the basic ecology for both S. putorius and the western spotted skunk (S. gracilis) is lacking especially in regions where the distribution of these two species is predicted to converge. We evaluated habitat associations for spotted skunks in an occupancy modeling framework within the foothill transitional habitat of south-central Wyoming during–December 2014. We found occurrence of spotted skunks was positively associated with rocky outcroppings (β = 2.51, se = 1.11, 95% ci = 0.34–4.68, P-value = 0.02). During late-fall and winter, rocky outcropping may represent an important habitat requirement of spotted skunks in this region.